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tv   [untitled]    March 13, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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i find it actually commendable because i feel since the architect is respecting the largeness of the other building and responds to it by retracting. we hear that hardly ever and i find the response appropriate and move to approve. >> second. president fong: commissioner antonini? commissioner antonini: i had the occasion to go by there last sunday night. i have a relative in the general vicinity and after visiting her i thought i might as well go see it and it happened that the next door neighbors at 47 jordan were out in front and they showed me and i could see exactly see what was happening and because these homes were built around 1914 or in that period, there weren't too many rear yard assurances that were in place during a long period of time after they were built and as a result, some of the houses extend quite a ways out and actually by cutting the second floor of an extension that goes not too far into the
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rear yard but they actually bring this back and open up the space for the neighbors on both sides, so i think it's a commendable change and i think the distance away from the palm street properties is quite aways and i can't see where a privacy issue would be involved here so i don't see anything extraordinary or unusual in this case. president fong: commissioner sugaya? commissioner sugaya: i have a quick question for the d.r. requester if you could come to the mic. did i hear you right in your testimony that you said the concern was with the second floor deck? >> correct. commissioner sugaya: ok. thank you. i thought that was the case. just an observation, i guess. that deck comes off the master bedroom so i think it would be used mainly for family affairs and possibly even just the owners of the house and it isn't the deck that would -- wouldn't
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be a deck that would be used for things like parties and things, i don't imagine. so -- secretary: commissioners, the motion on the floor is to not take discretionary review and approve the project. [roll call vote was taken] secretary: thank you, commissioners, that motion passed unanimously. we'll return to item no. 5 on your calendar. the informational presentation on the eastern neighborhoods transportation implementation planning study. >> good afternoon, commissioners.
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secretary: i can turn that one on. hold on just a moment. >> good afternoon, commissioners, tim pappendrao, deputy director of planning and streets. i'm giving you a note on where we are with the eastern neighborhoods en trips project and next steps, as well, moving forward. so where we are right now is we just went through the fairly lengthy process of trying to coordinate and prioritize transportation corridors for literally what comes to a third of the city. i think this was a very large endeavor, a very ambitious effort by the city to take this on. nevertheless, the eastern neighborhoods area plan came up with its recommendations and the m.t.a. was tasked to develop the transportation supporting measures to underpin the
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decisions approved by this commission a little while back. we went through this process of going through the existing conditions and future conditions looking at the land use growth assumptions that were approved by this commission and the regional growth that would be happening in the background and then really took a look at what could happen in these corridors and how we could move forward in a way that was meeting the majority of our goals in the city. this two-year process included extensive community outreach and community feedback. there was a lot of opinions on what could happen on these corridors and on these streets and which streets should go first and which should go second. we went through an extensionive prioritization process where we narrowed down three major corridors of focus and those three corridors are 16th street, folom street and howard street considered as a pair and seventh and eighth street considered as a pair, as well.
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i'll walk through those right now. so in the orange, the second corridor of 2012, we finished the report and we're at the process now of defining the projects for the next phase which would be the environmental phase. one of the projects which i'll go into is 16th street. we were very opportunistic working with the transit effectiveness project to fold that project description into the t.p. environmental so that's already out of the gate as we say. it's out of the gate. so the three project areas were the folsom howard pair from 5th street to 11th street. we chose this segment because from our analysis this was a segment that needed a lot of work and it also had the most similarities in terms of its characteristics on the corridor. we also chose the seventh and eighth street couplet from market street harrison, having very similar issues there, and then 16th street we looked at
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basically from church street to third street. the initial segment was from patrarra to seventh but we realized we had to extend it further out. on the transportation street scape improvements for 16th street, we looked at nine alternatives. looking at different ways we could move the people movement through that corridor. what obviously popped out which we all knew is that this is a transit street and needs to act like a transit street and within the t.e.p., it's a rapid, rapid corridor, it's part of the rapid network so we chose an alternative that basically put the transit first, adhering to our city policy, and making sure the transit improvements really repeated underpinned by the efforts undertaken in this corridor. we also look at the opportunity for extending the bike facilities and looking at other opportunities there but the one recommendation we focused on was
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on the median, creating a median transit service similar to a b.r.t., bus rapid transit, project. this is what it would look like. we have the extensive report and will be uploading it on the planning city department's website very soon. we're tweaking some things so we haven't got the report to hand to you in a hard copy yet but what we have right here is the decision for each of these alternatives. they're in the conceptual phase right now. they need to be described to go into environmental. 16th street is the furthest along where we describe the project. we would basically use the existing right-of-way to create a median center operating bus transit service and having transit boarding islands and various measures throughout the corridor. there would be elements where we would widen sidewalks on certain segments and put in bus bulbs
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and one of the key measures for pedestrian safety, would shorten the crossing distance on 16th street for the area and it's response to the growth that's going to be happening along the corridor. there will be parking removal. but in a limited right-of-way, there's only certain amount of things you can do. this is the recommended alternative going through the environmental analysis and we'll do the environmental assessment for that. the second corridor is folsom and howard streets. this was the -- i would say the most challenging one because there were so many opinions of what we should and could do in this corridor. we looked at various improvements ranging from one-way options where we would widen the sidewalks and reduce the number of travel lanes, really trying to traffic. we heard a lot from the community. certain parts of the community wanted it two-way, other parts wanted widened sidewalks, some
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wanted protected bus facilities and some wanted bus lanes. within a limited right-of-way we had, we came up with nine potential opportunities. the one-way alternatives would have reduced travel speeds. the lights would be resynchronized to reduce travel speeds. they would have shortened crossing distances and meet the criteria of the better streets plan policies with wider sidewalks. the two-way alternative accommodates everybody's needs but it doesn't widen the sidewalks and it only creates spot improvements where there would be bus boarding islands or the added crossing space from protected bicycle lanes. so these are the recommended concept and what it would do is for howard, it would create medians that would basically channelize the street creating two-way opportunities and for folsom street, there would be two lanes in one direction, one lane going in the other
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direction so we could keep that two-way concept that the community wants and then what that would do, it would allow for all of the transit to stay on one street, so for transit legibility purposes, this would score very well. a lot of the community wanted to have their transit in both directions on one street and this would achieve that. also, what this would do, it would create an opportunity for a cycle tracker, a protected bicycle facility, whether it's two-way or one-way, right now, we're still defining it, because there are things that are new from a federal standard guideline that we haven't approved yet. what we're doing with folsom and howard, we're working with the city staff right now. all the city staff to help define this alternative a little bit more. this is the concept that came out from the project report. looking at ways we can include wider sidewalks, one-way cycle tracks so we're actually
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conforming to our existing comfort of innovation, let's put it that way. and then getting this ready for environmental clearance which is an opportunity we're looking at for these two corridors with the city staff. on folsom street on, transit services, this gave us an opportunity to work with the transit side of the m.t.a. and as part of the t.e.p., there is a proposal that we could actually realign the 27 service which runs on bryant and harrison and move it up to folsom to improve more transit service because the community wanted more transit service and then renaming the 12 service right now that does a one-way couplet, to the 11, and meeting a lot of the needs that the community raised about right now the folsom service goes from one end to another end and doesn't connect anything and an opportunity we have is with introducing a new line, line 11 downtown connector, would connect the venice metro station
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along 10th street up folsom street and back to the montgomery street station. that makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons because there's a lot of movement through that area that would actually work that way. again, these would come in as part of the t.e.p. julie kirshbalm and julie weiss will come back to the commission to explain the framework of the t.e.p. because these are just a few of the corridors we're looking at. on seventh and eighth street, seventh and eighth street has a characteristic that is really important to northwest travel in the city and it's something we heard from many people that was really important to keep. again, trying to balance all of the competing needs was a challenge for these two corridors but we found we could meet the better streets plan
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ideas and concepts by really looking at how we could create opportunities to widen the sidewalks to, have protected bicycle facilities, to transit that currently uses that street works fairly well, enhancing that transit experience would be beneficial, as well. so we looked at the alternative options three and four which was keeping them one-way, signalizing the lights so we can slow down the vehicle movement, doing a road diet down to less lanes than there are right now and putting in protected bicycle facilities. we thought that would achieve the goals of the project. so this would be the more permanent design which would basically look at widening sidewalks, creating a buffet area for protected bicycle facilities, having transit boarding islands which would
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mean the transit wouldn't have to pull in and pull out and get moving. and then it would create a real opportunity for fairly extensive landscaping and while keeping the important north-south travel movements that we've been told and have heard from many people is very important. so that was the analysis out of the report. we also looked at the cost estimates and the rough order of magnitude of how we could actually get these projects done. so for folsom and howard streets, depending on the option that we design, we're looking at up to $53 million of how much it would cost to redo these streets and this is using existing cost estimates we've had from our projects that we had on valencia street, on 2 a haight and 2 a hayes street projects. sidewalk widening is expensive
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and i know that this commission has looked -- has a development agreement, there's opportunities for funding to come out from these development agreements. we're going to need to explore that and more if we're going to have these kind of permanent projects. we're looking at a combination of options right now that may be included and trying to refine them to bring the costs down and get the project described for environmental clearance. on seventh and eighth street, the three lanes with the widened sidewalk of 15 feet and the protected cycle facility would cost about $32 million, somewhere in the order of $32 million. again, we are looking at a -- an in-between measure which would be an initial lane reduction or road diet using striping and signage and signals and that would be more in the order of $500,000 to $800,000, which we could implement fairly soon. the last project is 16th street.
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that's the median transit way with the 17th street bike lanes. we'd have sidewalk widening up to 18 feet so it would really transform this corridor with all the new development heading along 16th street and there would be parking redistribution. we'd look at opportunities where the parking would have to come off the street to look at side street redistribution and figure out a way that is -- we can minimize the major loss of parking on those corridors. so next steps, we have put the project cost estimates into our capital improvement plan with the m.t.a. we also -- that is the five-year work plan for capital that goes into the m.t.a.'s budget process and the city's budget process. we're looking at identifying funding opportunities because there's going to be a major gap even with the development contributions that come through the eastern neighborhoods project, there won't be enough to cover these project funds for the scale of street scape
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improvements. we're also looking at other opportunities that we can dove tail these projects with existing environmental processes or ones coming up. there's opportunities we could look at how we could put those into environmental processes that are coming up further down, further towards downtown, the redevelopment may be an opportunity. we have to figure that out. we're looking at is there a way to phase any of these things? can we do pilots or some sort of initial road diet treatments that can get things out the door sooner than later, so, obviously, we're in an economic downcycle right now. these would dove tail with the next rebound and as the development occurs in the soma area, obviously, contributions will come forward so we can leverage those with these projects but we're looking at any opportunity we can to leverage these funds so i want to thank the city staff who have been working on this project.
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it's been very extensive work. redesigning one set of the city is never easy and focusing on eighth street corridor i think has been the best prioritization of our resources. so we'll come back to you periodically. i think once we develop the project descriptions for environmental analysis, this will be the commission that would approve these projects so that would be the opportunity that we would come back to you in the meantime and i'm happy to answer any questions about the report. thank you. president fong: thank you. is there any public comment? commissioner antonini? commissioner antonini: thank you for your report. a couple of things. i think the idea, wherever we can go two-way on some of these streets, particularly folsom, which is envisioned as a retail street and i think that makes it a lot more pedestrian friendly and certainly supports retail activity better if you've got that and the experiment with the
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completion of the two-way hayes, although it's only a couple of blocks, i think has really helped and i don't think it's impacted traffic that much. it seems to move through there pretty well. so on the 16th street, what i would encourage as you plan this, is, you know, try to plan it, do it once and do it right. i know light rail is expensive but the problem is the t. is, you go out on the t. and you go a long ways out and there's no connection. it has to come all the way back eventually to the central subway but for now it has to come become to market street and to connect that up. so 16th street would be a perfect nice have a connector line from the church -- from church street and, you know, i think you'd have a lot more ridership because people would be able to not have to get on and get on to a bus. they'd be able to take the j church, called the h or whatever you want to call it and it would
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bring them from the castro area all the way to mission bay and with a lot of stops along the way and you'd have a connection with 16th street, i would expect you would get off and get on to tothat. i know that's in the range of $2 to $3 million. >> at least. >> what we're working on our san francisco transportation plan right now with the transportation authority. i recommend this commission put in its request for projects. president fong: commissioner miguel? commissioner miguel: yes. on your seventh and ninth street -- on the seventh street project, you might take a look, because of the very heavy traffic coming west on both seventh and ninth, what a change
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in seventh would do to impact ninth because those are the two main going east to west and you might have a large impact on ninth and so i think that has to be taken into your study. folsom-howard, i echo commissioner antonini's comments on that. folsom is envisioned as a major retail street. of course, it's not only transit but also sidewalks because of pedestrians so that has to work in. i'm particularly familiar with 16th street, having done a lot of work on the preliminary mission bay plan where 16th is the obvious connector. you have some problems there if you're going to go all the way up to the church because the street widens and narrows constantly and if you take 16th
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street going east from patrarro, it narrows, and it goes to one lane each way. with some vestiges of bike lane in between. when you go west of patrarro, it widens, then jogs, then goes through the mission very, very slowly as it is, because of tremendous amount of traffic and by the time it hits market street, if there's any traffic at all, it's at a near standstill. so it's envisioned as a major transit connector and obviously, again, echoing commissioner antonini, you have to have that connection between the 16th street b.a.r.t. and mission bay, otherwise, it's not going to
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work. the ucfs hospital is well on its way. they're already doing the outside cladding. a great deal of residential, as well, is coming in to both the lower patrarro hill and mission bay and so a need for very, very good transit going in that direction is actually urgent because the people are going to be there before you can get the transit built. president fong: commissioner borden? commissioner borden: this is a great report and i'm not going to echo what's been said about 16th. we all have really strong feelings about that. i have a question, what's the difference between a cycle track and bicycle lane? >> we're using terms, there's no federal guidance on this. a bicycle lane is a lane that's striped on the side of the street, that's usually adjacent
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to the curb or adjacent to a parking lane. what we're calling cycle tracks, they're protected bicycle lanes that have the safety posts. these are more permanent designs where there would be either a little bit elevated off the road or just below the level of the sidewalk, traditionally used in copenhagen and amsterdam and european and asian cities, as well, where they have the facilities where you are literally separated from the streets. in the u.s., they're called cycle tracks. i think it's the term of art being used right now. commissioner borden: i guess it's surprising how costly it is to do -- out of curiosity, $53 million to do folsom and howard. it seems like a lot of money. what takes up so much of the cost, i just wonder. >> concrete, asphalt.
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>> it's sewage. >> it's utilities. >> a lot of it is utility relocation and storm water relocation. there's things, for example, signals cost -- signals cost $150,000 each and an intersection can easily cost $500,000, especially because they're so big. doing the curb cut-outs and those sort of things can cost a couple of hundred thousand dollars. valencia was four to six blocks and that was $10 million. they're expensive. redesigning streets are expensive. if we had done this in the 1930's, it would have been really cheap but to do it now is what raises the price. it's physical commodity prices and the utility relocation, storm water relocation. commissioner borden: i would think the concrete is cheap.
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and then the other question, you were talking about folsom and saying that the two-way alternative, it's harder to widen sidewalks but it sounded like the two-lane, one-lane, would allow for widened sidewalks? >> noe, what would have to happen is the right-of-way itself, it's about 66 feet of right-of-way curb to curb right now and in order for the community really wants two-way service. in order for us to accommodate that and the existing traffic and future traffic conditions we're going to have in there, we could finagle is a little bit and have one lane going in one direction and two lanes going the other direction so we could have two-way transit and two-way vehicle movement but that says there's not enough room -- also to keep the parking on both sides. to keep the parking, there's no room left to widen the sidewalk continuously. the sidewalk will be widened where there are bus boarding platforms and where the cycle
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facilities are located so you'll get the feeling at the crosswalks that there will be pedestrian bulb outs at the direction but for a continual path, there's not enough right-of-way. that's the recommendation from the project. the m.t.a. team and the city team right now have to basically work on describing these projects that say we really -- if we really need to meet the requirements of the better streets plan, we have to rejigger this a little bit and either take out more travel lane, reduce travel lanes even more, or take out parking so we can widen sidewalks. commissioner borden: do we have policy around the width of a traffic lane? do we have, like, locally, does a traffic lane have to be 25 feet or i don't know? >> yeah, for transit, we would like our lanes to be 11 1/2 feet wide because the bus with its mirrors is literally 11 feet so ideally 12 feet but that's not the standard. we'd like to have them at least 11 1/2 feet. for travel lanes, they've gone as low as 9 1/2 feet.
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that's not optimal. you want to have 10 for vehicles. because if transit is running on 9 1/2 feet, it's literally straddling two lanes. in the northern part of the mission, it's straddling two lanes because lanes are so narrow. commissioner borden: in our better streets, did we come up with a number or a policy around lane width at all? >> i don't know exactly off the top of my head. just sidewalks, they didn't go into streets. commissioner borden: i was just wondering. i was in washington, d.c. because a lot of streets, two cars can't pass each other. >> no, no, and there's reasons for doing that. forces people to slow down. so, yeah. commissioner borden: thank you. president fong: commissioner wu? vice president wu: i also want to thank you for the presentation. i assume you have been in coordination with supervisor kim's office and d.p.h. and all of the public pedestrian safety hearings held last year? i think those are really great and they brought so many different stakeholders from the
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neighborhoods together. i also shared commissioner borden's sticker shock at the price so would just suggest maybe if it is going to be phased to really focus on some of what was heard out of those hearings, the pedestrian safety concerns, looking at where the collisions were, possibly shortening crossing distancing with bulb outs and slowing traffic. i know that's the goal of the entire project but i think $53 million seems pretty tough to achieve so using those as a way to help prioritize. >> thank you. president fong: commissioner sugaya? commissioner sugaya: yes, i can only speculate the cost will go up faster because if we -- as you mention -- enter an improved economic situation and there's development and part of the financing is not dependent on development taking place so we can extract the fees, if develot